modifying a powerbrake (psychobassguy advice please)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thelastofus, May 10, 2004.

  1. thelastofus

    thelastofus Guest

    Jul 3, 2002
    Bakersfield, Ca
    I love the idea of the marshall powerbreak and would love to use one on my svt classic to get that real good tubey overdriven sound but they're only available as 100 watt breaks, is it possible top modify these to work with 300 watt amps? i have no idea how these things work so i have no clue as to if this could be done, thanks.
  2. Garey

    Garey Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2003
    Northern California
    Artist Relations/Product Specialist: Mesa Boogie
    Not possible.....even if you were to try it on the THD Hotplate, DrZ Airbrake, or Alessandro Muzzle. There's a reason that they are for *guitar amps* under 100 watts.

    To try to attenuate that much power, high current, NO. You might be able to build something with giant Ohmite resistors (a la EVH) but it would be huge and dissipate A LOT of heat.

    Aloha, Garey
  3. Well, it's certainly theoretically possible to buy some non-inductive resistors and rig up a high-powered "powerbrake" device, but I wouldn't exactly call it practical. (After all, when I want to test an amp's output, I put it on a big Ohmite resistor, cooled with a fan.)

    But to make something gig-ready would require very well designed cooling and some attention to the circuit...NOT something I'd want to rely on or chance an SVT on.

    Better option, if you like an SVT sound but not the volume, find an old Ampeg V-4. Great all-tube tone, 100 watts, classic looks, decent price still (less than $400 typically). A little maintenance and you'll have a reliable tone monster. :D
  4. "Powerbrakes" are evil devices that do all sorts of nasty things to your amp that no speaker ever would. You'll kill your tubes, wreck your tone and stress the amp far more than running it full tilt all the time. Get a really inefficent cab. Seriously, an Acme can help tame volume problems. Powerbrakes are BAD!!!!
  5. Hehe. I sprayed (softdrink of choice) all over my keyboard.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've been telling my guitarists friends this for years and the ones that listened have been extremely happy. If you want to push your amp into tub distortion, get a smaller amp. Try to do this with a 100w guitar amp and it's so loud, it's like sticking your head in a microwave and turning it on. Do it with a 50w guitar amp and it's much more musical. I guess the same rules apply here.
  7. If you can get them down to a 10 or 20 Watt tube amp for guitar, then you only need a 50 Watt tube head for bass to match unamplified drums, and now you're talking sweet, sweet sound, a natural mix, and you'll still be able to hear 20 years from now. :D

  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've been doing a lot of work with a band that is run by a couple of brothers who both play guitar and sing. They're each using a Marshall 30w combo with a single 12" speaker, and a tube premp that by-passes the pre-amp in the combo. I LOVE these guys. It's loud enough to get over a drum kit, and the boys get the tone they're after. I can easily do these gigs with 280w and a single cab (I usually use 400w and 2 cabs). The crowd reaction to this band is amazing to say the least. They're one of the busiest bands in Sydney and IMO, its largely because they "get it".